Multi-use Community Hub To Open At Battle Library
Battle Library will reopen to the public as a multi-use community hub for west Reading on Tuesday 17th September, following major building improvement work over the summer.
Local residents can visit the library from 1pm on Tuesday 17th September.
Battle Library has been transformed over the summer, so that more people can enjoy what it has to offer. The much loved library will continue to provide all of its popular library services, as well as Children’s Centre activities, adult learning and community activities.
Work on the £400K project, funded through developer contributions from nearby housing schemes, got underway in May.
The transformation has created a new single storey rear extension alongside internal reorganisation and improvements. The extension has an office space and houses the adult library, which opens up to an outside deck area. An eco-friendly green roof of hardy alpines plants has been installed on the extension.
The internal reorganisation provides a new flexible community space, available for community groups to use outside of library opening hours. This also includes a kitchenette and additional toilet facility. Other improvements include a new library reception desk and general redecoration.
Groups and organisations benefiting from the transformation include: Brighter Future for Children Children’s Centre activities, West Reading Together, New Directions adult learning and Craft & Chat.
Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I’m delighted the new, improved Battle Library will be reopening this month. By developing the library into a community hub, we can now make even better use of the building and put it at the heart of the local community. The aim of the community hubs is to bring services together in one convenient place for local people, along with decent meeting spaces for local groups. I’d encourage everyone in West Reading to stop by and support their local library.”
Cllr Sophia James, Reading’s Lead Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “I’m really excited to see Battle open again. Last year we successfully launched community hubs in Southcote and South Reading, and these are already proving incredibly popular, well-used spaces.
“The new building in west Reading will not only still provide the much loved library, but will also offer valuable space from which community groups and organisations will be able to deliver a range of activities for local people.”
Donna Sibley and Lynda McCann, Activity Managers with the community group West Reading Together said: “We are so happy that Battle Library is reopening with even more capacity for community groups. It is very much at the heart of West Reading’s community. It offers groups in West Reading an affordable community space to meet up in. Our West Reading Together board game social group meets every Thursday morning and we can keep it free of charge whilst it is in the library. The librarians are wonderfully helpful and supportive, and know many members of the community by name. It is so important for West Reading residents of all ages, that this safe, free and welcoming space is opening again soon.”
The transformation at Battle Library is part of the Council’s £2 million investment in community hubs which bring libraries, children’s centres and community facilities together in one place. South Reading Community Hub celebrated its first anniversary in June this year and Southcote Community Hub will be celebrating its first anniversary in October. Work on upgrading Sun Street Youth & Community Centre to a new hub for east Reading will start in the winter.
To find out more about this exciting project, visit: www.reading.gov.uk/battlelibraryworks
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